Rupiah (IDR or RP) is the local currency of Indonesia, including Bali. If you’re from the US, Europe, UK and Australia, you’d be glad to know that rupiahs have less value than dollars or Euros. This means several hundreds of dollars can go a long way in Bali. But, before you exchange your hard-earned cash for a getaway with the family and loved ones, consider these tips from Bali Kids Guide for money exchange Bali:
Exchange Dollars to Rupiahs in Indonesia
There are several money exchange shops right in the Indonesian airport, and in all the tourist areas on the island. This makes changing money very convenient. If you think you are saving more money by exchanging your cash for Bali money at home, think again. You are more likely to pay too much this way. We recommend exchanging cash right after you arrive in Bali, not before.
Cash or Credit?
While traveling in Bali it’s a good idea to carry a handful of local IDR notes for your daily expenses, and a credit card for major purchases (hotels, tours, etc.). You can use your ATM card at major banks in Bali, as long as you have international services on your card. Visa and Mastercard are accepted by most large establishments. Don’t forget to bring multiple credit cards, just in case you lose one! Always keep credit cards in different sections of your bag / luggage so that you can be sure you’ll always have a backup in case you lose one.
It’s also helpful to know that most mid to high-end hotels and resorts, some tourist attractions, car rental agencies and tour companies list their prices in US dollar. The Rupiah is still acceptable in these establishments, however the exchange rate usually benefits the vendor over the visitor. If you’re not using a credit card, it’s best to keep some USD on you as well.
Where to Exchange Cash in Bali
The safest place to exchange dollars into rupiahs in Bali is the local bank. You are less likely to be ripped off when you exchange currency at a local bank. Below are major banks that operate in Bali:
- Bank MandiriBNI
- Bank BCA
- Bank Danamon
- CIMB Niaga
To minimize the Foreign Exchange Transaction fee, make sure to withdraw cash from your bank’s ATM, or an ATM that has international services. International transaction fees can seriously add up, so this is worth investigating before you leave home.
Hotel Front Desk
Ask your hotel’s front desk if they allow currency exchanges. However, do note that exchanging money from a hotel is more expensive compared to regular banks and moneychangers.
Authorized Money Changers
Do not change currency at the first money changing shop you see. Always go for authorized currency changers. These are establishments endorsed by the local banks for exchanging currencies. Go for moneychangers with the Pedagang Valuta Asing Berizin or PVA Berizin sign. Look for the green PVA Berizin logo on the shop’s window.
When exchanging currency be sure to bring new, clean notes because any damages (wrinkles, rips and scribbles) will not be accepted. Some older US denominations, even if in pristine condition, might also be rejected.
Always count the total before you leave the shop, and stash your cash before leaving.
Remember that ATMs are plentiful in Bali, and as long as you choose an ATM that’s attached to a bank there is very little risk with withdrawing cash from an ATM in Bali rather than worrying about using a money exchanger.